Hipgnosis Songs Management, which Blackstone finances, has revealed that it has purchased Justin Bieber’s song rights for more than $200 million. The alleged deal finally went public last month after weeks of speculation.
Shares in Bieber’s publication copyrights (including the writer’s share of performance), master recordings, and neighboring rights for his complete back catalog of nearly 290 titles released before December 31, 2021, are included in the arrangement.
Universal Music, the singer’s longtime home, will reportedly continue to handle the administration of Bieber’s songs. UMG will forever have the rights to his master recordings. Hipgnosis Songs Capital, a joint venture between Hipgnosis Song Management and Blackstone-managed funds, has made the purchase.
Scooter Braun of Hybe America, David Bolno of NKSFB, Aaron Rosenberg and Audrey Benoualid of Myman Greenspan Fox Rosenberg Mobasser Younger & Light LLP, and Michael Rhodes of Cooley all worked on Bieber’s legal representation.
Hybe America CEO and Bieber manager of 15 years, Braun, expressed gratitude to Merck, the rest of the Hipgnosis team, and the other parties involved, for their efforts in finalizing the contract.
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When Justin finally settled on a catalog arrangement, we wasted no time determining that Merck and Hipgnosis would be the ideal partners to help us maintain and expand this remarkable legacy. I’m pleased for everyone involved because it’s been an honor to watch this unfold over the past 15 years.
There’s no stopping Justin now that he’s started. Hipgnosis Song Management CEO Merck Mercuriadis: “The impact of Justin Bieber on worldwide culture over the previous 14 years has indeed been astounding.
With approximately 82 million monthly listeners and over 30 billion streams on Spotify alone, this acquisition is among the most significant transactions ever made for an artist under 70. Scooter Braun has been instrumental in Justin’s career, and it is with great excitement that we welcome him and his outstanding discography to the Hipgnosis family.
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Hipgnosis Song Management Buys Justin Bieber’s Catalog
William R. Leibowitz Law Group, Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s Seth Traxler and Rory Wellever, and HW Fisher’s Robert Fowler and Lisa Ong represented Hipgnosis Songs Capital. The news arrives during a quiet moment for the artist, just weeks after he postponed the remaining dates in his “Justice” tour until an undisclosed “next year.”
The tour, initially intended to commence in 2020, has been postponed or delayed multiple times, initially due to the pandemic but most recently following his brush with Ramsay Hunt syndrome, a rare virus that, in his instance, caused facial paralysis.
The tour began in March and traversed much of North America, but he pushed out the rest of the dates until June after disclosing health problems. It also coincides with a general slowdown in the once-booming catalog industry, which has grown less appealing as asking prices have skyrocketed, and interest rates and capital gains taxes have climbed.
Despite including some of the songs that have made Bieber famous over the past 15 years, his catalog is less of a sure bet than those of Genesis and Phil Collins, both of whose catalogs sold for an estimated $300 million this year.
Even still, Hipgnosis stands out among the companies that have adopted newer collections. The Bieber sale would reportedly be Hipgnosis’s largest music-rights acquisition, as the Journal reported. The business allegedly paid over $100 million earlier this year to acquire the song-catalog rights to Justin Timberlake, whose compositions are a few years older than Bieber’s.
Even though Bieber’s contribution to the success of songs like “Sorry,” “Love Yourself,” and “Baby” is minimal, these songs have become worldwide sensations and, in the eyes of many, epitomize their respective decades. In contrast, Hipgnosis has also acquired the back catalog of iconic singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, which features numerous timeless classics over half a century old.